Program Personnel

Instructors

The instructors in the program are primarily faculty members from the Miami University—Oxford campus. However, instructors affiliated with other educational institutions are also employed. Instructors have expertise in the content of the courses as well as experience teaching online and hybrid courses.

Jason Abbitt

Jason Abbitt is the director of the SEOH program. Dr. Abbitt received his Ph.D. in Education and M.Ed. in Educational Technology from the University of Idaho. His current teaching duties include undergraduate and graduate courses in educational technology and also in research methodology and behavioral statistics. His current research focuses on teacher preparation for technology integration. For the SEOH program, he facilitates curriculum decisions in conjunction with faculty in the Special Education program. He oversees administrative functions relating to the operating budget, transfer of hours from other institutions. Additionally, he serves as an initial point of contact regarding academic advising, and leads that ongoing evaluation of the program.

Cheri Bryant

Cheri Bryant is an instructor and Coordinator of Placements and Partnerships. She received her B.S. degree from the University of Cincinnati in Special Education, and M.S in Administration from the University of Dayton.  Prior to teaching at Miami, she taught K-12 special education students for 19 years, and served more than 11 years as a Special Education administrator. The focus of her career has been facilitating the inclusion of students with more moderate to intensive disabilities into the general education settings. 

Molly Kelly

Molly Kelly is an undergraduate alumna of Miami University in Elementary and Special Education. She completed her master’s degree at the University of Cincinnati, concentrating in education for children with emotional & behavioral disorders and learning disabilities, with a focus on language development and assessment. After six years of teaching children with exceptionalities in the public schools, she served as a Clinical Special Educator for University Affiliated Cincinnati Center for Developmental Disorders (currently Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Division of Developmental Disorders). Areas of interest included team assessments of young children, supporting families in obtaining and monitoring appropriate school services for their children, collaborating with teachers to create adaptations, accommodations and positive behavioral support plans for learners with exceptionalities, development of inclusive school climates and issues of social justice in education. Ms. Kelly teaches a wide range of special education courses, focusing on unique learners and their families and topics such as learning disabilities and cognitive disabilities, development of social and affective skills, team development in school settings, as well as various practicum and field experiences.

Ashley Cartel Johnson

Ashley Cartell Johnson, M.A., BCBA, is an undergraduate alumna of Miami University in Special Education and is currently a Clinical Faculty member in the Educational Psychology Department. After four years of teaching middle school students with multiple disabilities, she served for four years as the Executive Director at Safe Haven Farms, a residential and habilitation program for adults with Autism. Since 2009, Mrs. Johnson has taught a wide range of undergraduate and graduate courses in the special education programs at Miami focusing on social and affective skills, transition supports, and assistive technology, and also has taught courses in the disability studies minor and thematic sequence. She has researched and presented on incorporating video games into instruction and job-training for individuals with autism, residential and day habilitation program options for adults with autism, the effects of sensory integration environments on individuals with developmental disabilities, and incorporating applied behavior analysis in a positive behavior support culture. Her career focus has been on working alongside the families of and with individuals with intellectual disabilities to find, create, or increase authentically inclusive experiences.

Katy Mezher

Katy Mezher is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, and a licensed Psychologist in the state of Ohio. She received a bachelors degree in psychology at Miami University and PhD from the University of Tennessee (Knoxville). At Miami, she served as Vice President for Student Council for Exceptional Children and received an undergraduate psychology award. At the University of Tennessee, she received an Award for Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation. Dr. Mezher received school psychology-related experience in East Tennessee, including in K-12 schools, Head Start centers, and a clinic setting. Dr. Mezher completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in the Kelly O'Leary Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders. There, she participated in interdisciplinary assessments, Early Intensive Behavior Intervention (EIBI), and severe behavior treatment. She also participated in the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) training program. Dr. Mezher has taught over 10 different courses since beginning her role in 2012. She works with undergraduate special and general education students, graduate school psychology students, and graduate educational psychology and special education students. Traditional, hybrid and online courses taught range in topic, including but not limited to inclusion of students with disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, behavior support and intervention, assessment, and educational research.

Lesley Sawhook

Lesley Sawhook serves as a project manager for the SEOH program. Her duties are student advising, key assessment coordination and course instruction. Lesley has a masters degree in Special Education and has a 19 year history of working in the public school setting as an intervention specialist for students with multiple disabilities. Lesley has previously taught special education and general education courses online for 10 years as well as served as a mentor for incoming faculty for another university. During her time as an Intervention Specialist, she has worked collaboratively with teams to support students in classroom settings, been an active part of a team writing IEPs and multi factored evaluations, programmed and implemented the use of augmentative communication and assistive technology, as well as grant writing to secure music therapy funding for the school district. 

Leah Wasburn-Moses

Leah Wasburn-Moses is a professor in the Department of Educational Psychology. She received her Ph.D. in 2005 from Michigan State University, where she was a University Distinguished Fellow. Dr. Wasburn-Moses' research interests are in teacher education and policy. She teaches classes in mild/moderate disabilities. Dr. Wasburn-Moses is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and is involved in the Council for Exceptional Children's (CEC) Teacher Education Division. Dr. Wasburn-Moses also serves as the Miami Connections Project Manager and Co-Instructor, EDP 450G.

Sarah Watt

Sarah Watt is an assistant professor in the Special Education Program. Formerly she was a K-8 special education teacher for 9 years. Dr. Watt received her PhD from the University of Iowa where she was selected as a Student Scholar for CEC’s Division of Research. Her research interests include supporting struggling learners and those with disabilities in math and science; professional development of teachers in the field; and facilitating effective content area instruction for pre-service special education teachers. She is active member of CEC’s Division for Learning Disabilities. Dr. Watt is the faculty advisor for the student chapter of Council for Exceptional Children at Miami. Dr. Watt teaches a wide range of classes including but not limited to Educational Psychology of Exceptional Learners, Literacy Practicum Capstone, and Behavioral Interventions. She also teaches for the Special Education Online Hybrid program which currently offers licensure and/or an MA in Special Education.